Streptococcus suis (SS), an important pathogen for pigs, is not only considered as a zoonotic agent for humans, but is also recognized as a major reservoir of antimicrobial resistance contributing to the spread of resistance genes to other pathogenic Streptococcus species. In addition to serotype 2 (SS2), serotype 9 (SS9) is another prevalent serotype isolated from diseased pigs. Although many SS strains have been sequenced, the complete genome of a non-SS2 virulent strain has been unavailable to date. Here, we report the complete genome of GZ0565, a virulent strain of SS9, isolated from a pig with meningitis. Comparative genomic analysis revealed five new putative virulence or antimicrobial resistance-associated genes in strain GZ0565 but not in SS2 virulent strains. These five genes encode a putative triacylglycerol lipase, a TipAS antibiotic-recognition domain protein, a putative TetR family transcriptional repressor, a protein containing a LPXTG domain and a G5 domain, and a type VII secretion system (T7SS) putative substrate (EsxA), respectively. Western blot analysis showed that strain GZ0565 can secrete EsxA. We generated an esxA deletion mutant and showed that EsxA contributes to SS virulence in a mouse infection model. Additionally, the antibiotic resistance gene vanZSS was identified and expression of vanZSS conferred resistance to teicoplanin and dalbavancin in Streptococcus agalactiae. We believe this is the first experimental demonstration of the existence of the T7SS putative substrate EsxA and its contribution to bacterial virulence in SS. Together, our results contribute to further understanding of the virulence and antimicrobial resistance characteristics of SS.
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